The effect of minocycline on indolamine 2, 3 dioxygenase expression and the levels of kynurenic acid and quinolinic acid in LPS-activated primary rat microglia

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Microglia are one of the most important neural cells in the central nervous system (CNS) which account for 10–15% of all cells found in the brain. A vast majority of studies indicate that microglia play a pivotal role in protection and damage of the CNS. It has been shown that microglia are mainly scavenger cells but also produce a barrage of factors that are involved in tissue repair and neural regeneration. Several lines of evidence indicate that unregulated activation of microglia in response to either endogenous or exogenous insults results in the production of toxic factors that propagate neuronal injury. Studies demonstrated that the activated microglia secret the excessive amounts of quinolinic acid (QA) and kynurenic acid (KYNA) which are highly toxic for the neuronal cells. In line with this, indolamine 2, 3 dioxygenase (IDO), an enzyme producing KYNA and QA has been shown to be elevated during the inflammation in microglia. In this study, we established primary microglial cell cultures obtained from cerebral cortices of 1-day neonatal Wistar rats. Minocycline (20–60 μM) or its vehicle was added to the culture media 60 min prior to 48 h incubation with lipopolysaccharide (LPS; 10 ng/mL). Using a specific process of adhesion and shaking of the cultured glial cells, a purified culture of approximately 94% enriched microglia was obtained and then, corroborated by immunocytochemistry (ICC). The cell viability after minocycline treatments was assessed using the MTT colorimetric assay. The expression of IDO was evaluated using qPCR. The levels of KYNA and QA were determined using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The results showed that minocycline significantly decreased the levels of both KYNA and QA in glia cells exposed to LPS. Moreover, minocycline decreased the expression of IDO in treated LPS-induced microglia. It seems that minocycline has a potent ability to oppress the inflammatory process via the decrease in production of IDO expression and the concentrations of KYNA and QA.

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